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WhiteWave 4Q profit falls on IPO expenses

DALLAS (AP) -- Organic dairy company WhiteWave Foods Co. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income from continuing operations fell 8 percent, pulled down by costs related to its initial public offering and other one-time charges.

WhiteWave, which makes Horizon organic milk and Silk brand food and beverages, was spun off from Dean Foods Co. and went public in October. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, it posted a profit from continuing operations of $29 million, or 17 cents per share, down from $31 million, or 21 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit from continuing operations of 18 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $608 million from $542 million. Excluding items, the company said the recent quarter's adjusted revenue totaled $609 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 17 cents per share on $609.4 million, according to FactSet.

WhiteWave said its sales got a boost from strong demand for plant-based foods and beverages, which include soy, almond and coconut milks, along with coffee creamer and beverages.

The company said it expects sales volumes to continue to grow this year and result in adjusted net sales growth in the "high-single digits" for both the first quarter and full year.

WhiteWave projected an adjusted first-quarter profit of 14 cents to 16 cents per share and an adjusted full-year profit of 68 cents to 72 cents per share. Analysts expect profits of 17 cents and 71 cents for the quarter and year, respectively.

Also on Wednesday, Dean Foods, which still holds an 87 percent stake in the company, said it still expects to spin off most of its shares in May after the lock-up period related to WhiteWave's IPO expires, but it may retain up to 19.9 percent of the shares for later use.

WhiteWave shares fell 97 cents, or 6 percent, to $15.45 in morning trading.